Putin's nuclear 'sabre rattling' dismissed by Johnson

Source: Associated Press

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has dismissed threats by Russia's president of a possible nuclear strike over Ukraine as "sabre-rattling".

He made the comment in an excerpt of an interview scheduled to be broadcast on LBC Radio's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast programme on Friday.

That followed an opinion piece penned by the former British Ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch, in the Daily Telegraph, where the diplomat warned NATO that Russian President Vladimir Putin may "resort to nuclear weapons" over the war in Ukraine.

Johnson dismissed Darroch's analysis and insisted that it is Putin's desire to frame the conflict as "Russia versus NATO."

He later described the war in Ukraine as a "wanton, illegal, unprovoked active aggression against a sovereign independent country."

Asked whether NATO had acted as a united alliance in its Madrid summit this week, Johnson said the conversations are now over "changing the dynamic" of the conflict.

Commenting further on the withdrawal of Russian forces from a strategic Black Sea island, Johnson said the pullout from Snake Island was a "lesson."

The Kremlin portrayed the pullout from Snake Island as a "goodwill gesture."

But Ukraine's military claimed it forced the Russians to flee in two small speedboats following a barrage of Ukrainian artillery and missile strikes.